Numbers 97. Report of Colonel William H. Gibson, Forty-ninth Ohio Infantry, commanding Sixth Brigade.
HEADQUARTERS SIXTH BRIGADE, Field of Shiloh, April 10, 1862.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of the participation of this command in the memorable action of the 7th instant:
Reaching Savannah at 10 p. m. of the 6th, and holding the rear of the Second Division, we were compelled to await transportation until the next morning at 9 o'clock.
After great exertions the entire brigade, with two batteries of artillery, was embarked on the steamer John J. Roe. We reached Pittsburg Landing about 11 o'clock, and at once hastened forward to the scene of conflict in the center, where a portion of the Second Division was then engaged.
Colonel Willich, with the Thirty-second Indiana, being the first to debark and to reach the field, was detached from the brigade and placed in position by General McCook in person. Nothing further was heard from him by me during the day, but his list of casualties shows that he was hotly engaged, and the testimony of distinguished officers, who witnessed the conduct of his command, justifies me in saying that officers and man gave proof of skill and courage worthy the heroes of Rowlett's Station. Herewith I submit Colonel Willich's report for full particulars.
Obedient to orders, the balance of the brigade was deployed in line of battle in rear of the Fourth Brigade, under General Rousseau, then closely engaged. His ammunition being exhausted, the Sixth Brigade was ordered to advance, which command was executed promptly and in perfect order. The enemy's infantry, concealed by tents, behind trees, and in dense undergrowth, opened a terrific fire on our whole line simultaneously. With one battery he opened on the left of the Fifteenth Ohio, holding the right; with another he annoyed the left of the Forty-ninth Ohio, holding the left, and with a third he poured a torrent of grape upon the Thirty-ninth Indiana, holding the center. The fire of the enemy's infantry was promptly responded to along our entire line. Our volleys were delivered with rapidity, regularity, and effect. The enemy's lines were shaken, and we steadily pressed forward, driving him before us at least 80 rods.
I here discovered that, under cover of a ravine, the enemy was turning my left, and I at once ordered the Forty-ninth Ohio to change line of battle to the rear on first company, which movement was executed with perfect order under a heavy fire. Lieutenant William C. Turner was dispatched to General McCook to inform him of the danger to my left, but the fire of the Forty-ninth Ohio from its new position soon drove the enemy back, and the regiment moved forward into line.
The enemy now, with increased force, made a second demonstration on my left, and the Forty-ninth Ohio again changed line to the rear, and quickly arrested his advance.
Captain Bouton, with two guns of his Chicago battery, reached the ground at this juncture, and after silencing the enemy's battery, which had been annoying my left, moved quickly to the left of the Fifteenth Ohio, and opened on the batteries which had up to that time harassed that regiment and the Thirty-ninth Indiana. The enemy's guns were